Wednesday, June 17, 2020


miqreh can be employed for both “fortune” and “misfortune,” which offers a vantage point for understanding one of the HB’s most profound and challenging theological claims: God may also work through misfortune. This theme is particularly prominent in the Joseph narrative and elsewhere in the book of Genesis. Thus Joseph can tell his brothers: “At last you see that you did not send me, God did, and he has placed me as a father to Pharaoh, as lord of all his house, and ruler over all the land of Egypt” (Gen 45:8). And again: “While you intended harm for me, God intended it for good, in order to bring about this day, to bring life to many people” (Gen 50:20). To style this perspective “deterministic” would be to the miss the point. The thrust of this aspect of the biblical tradition is not that God determines every outcome in advance or that everything that happens is for the best. The point is rather that God is continuously, redemptively working to bring goodness out of misfortune and calamity (cf. Rom 8:28).—Stephen B. Chapman in Divine Doppelgängers: YHWH’s Ancient Look-Alikes, 194

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